Sealife Centre, Manchester

I RECKON the reason the Sealife Centre and Legoland are based at the Trafford Centre is so parents can bribe their kids with a treat if they behave whilst shopping!

Neither provide a full day out, but they’re great for a couple of hours away from the shops.

We visited the Sealife Centre the day before flying from Manchester Airport. Since we were staying over to catch an early flight I decided to go early the day before for a day out to kick-start our holidays.

It’s located right next to Legoland – so it’s worth getting a combi ticket for both attractions if you plan to go.When you get to the Trafford Centre follow the signs for Barton Square and there is a car park directly outside.

Don’t do what I did and park up near the shops and find you’re right at the other end of the centre and have to walk the length of the shops to find it!

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The Sealife Centre is the UK’s newest aquarium and allows families to get up close and personal with more 5,000 creatures from across the world’s oceans.

Inside you will find sharks, rays, seahorses, jellyfish, a sea turtle and more.

The favourite area for my children was the interactive touch-pool.

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Everything in the touch-pool is safe to handle and rock pool experts are on hand to show you how. Oliver, four, and Jasmine, two, were able to get up close to a crab before finding out what a mermaid purse is.

We also enjoyed watching the sharks being fed while listening to a talk.While walking round you can test your creature knowledge by taking part in the free kids quiz trail.

The journey through the underwater tunnel as sharks and rays swim overhead was also good fun.

Another fascinating area of the Sealife Centre is the Turtle Beach, brings which to life the story of the green sea turtle. Visitors can then get a real life view of the attraction’s own resident, Ernie, and enjoy watching him swimming and napping in the underwater ocean tunnel he calls home.

Sealife Manchester is also home to SeaTREK – Europe’s first sea bed walk, where you can savour a dive experience like no other by plunging beneath the waves for a magical experience.

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Totally unrelated to sea creatures, Oliver and Jasmine also loved the large softplay area, with its slides and tubes to crawl through.

With it being a Saturday, it was very busy when we visited but we just took our time and enjoyed the experience. It’s not massive though so won’t count as a full day out on its own.

  • Reviewed August 2015

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION: The Trafford Centre, Barton Dock Rd, Manchester M17 8AS

OPEN: 10am to 7pm.

PRICES: Tickets from £9.99 per person. Under threes are free. Book online to save money.

CALL: 0871 221 2483. Calls cost 10p per minute, plus network extras.

VISIT: www.visitsealife.com

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